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DCF and Child Support Enforcement;; Step Grandfather has custody, taking me for child support but not the Mother? Hows that work

Brooksville, FL |

In 2011 my son was abandoned by his Mother, I petitioned the courts for custody of him and had custody of him from April '11- Oct '12when my girlfriend and I put him in school, his mother knew someone that worked there and called DCF saying that my girlfriend and I were telling him that his Mom and Grandparents were dead, which was untrue. He had bruises on his legs from horsing around with our dogs and being a normal 7 year old kid that plays outside. I was arrested for child abuse and during one of the DCF hearings they said my parental rights would be terminated if I didn't complete a family packet, which I didn't. His Step Grandfather has custody of him and is now taking me for child support, why couldn't I get my son back after the charges were dropped? Why do I have to pay support?

Attorney Answers 3


Criminal charges are separate from a DCF case, which is civil. The burden of proof is different from a criminal case, which is why DCF can pursue a matter even if criminal charges are dropped. Parents are always obligated to pay support. DCF/Grandfather are pursuing the support against you for two reasons. One, because you are there so they can get it and two because when public benefits are involved, they are required to pursue child support against the parent. Your son will be getting Medicaid and the grandfather may also be getting relative caregiver benefits. This is state money that is going to support your child. The state wants it back. They are probably also looking for mom.

Also, you should have a court appointed attorney in your DCF case, unless you make too much money to qualify. You should always have an attorney in these cases, so either talk to your court appointed lawyer, or hire one.

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If the child is not in your care then you have to pay support. As the father you should be able to get custody back. Use of a lawyer is recommended.

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The child is your responsibility to support. You are required to pay support to anyone who has custody or is taking care of the child including the State if the State is providing assistance to support your child.

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